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I'm currently using Windows Media Player 12 on Windows 7 Ultimate. I was using iTunes, but since I got my Android phone, I got rid of my iPod and uninstalled iTunes. I'm trying to do things like keep music organized in the form My Music/Artist/CD/## - Song.mp3, but Windows Media Player usually fails to load my music library (which is in the default location, by the way), "forgets" adjustments that I make to the tags, doesn't move songs to the proper directories, and doesn't rename files appropriately.

So here is what I've done three times now. I open Windows Media Player and I'm greeted with a message that says there are no songs. Then, it appears to scan my music library and find my music. However, a bunch of songs are labeled as "Unknown" - they do not have an artist associated with them. I manually use the tools to find artist and album information and they are renamed and reorganized. But then, next time I start WMP, they are all back to unknown. It's beyond annoying.

I went through the settings once, changed a few things, and thought I was good to go. But this is not the case. Can I make Windows Media Player do these things? I've seen the other questions about applications to do this, but I would prefer to use Windows Media Player if at all possible - I'm not a huge into perfection, but I do like an organized library. I would like to do this with as few media applications as possible.

My goal is to have Windows Media Player manage everything - make sure album titles are correct, song names, artists, file names, locations. I want everything handled in one application and I want that one application to be WMP.

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4 Answers

Surprisingly, its about as easy to do in Windows Media Player as it is in iTunes. Here is a link to an article for vista, and while some of the menu options differ, the steps are all the same:

http://www.quepublishing.com/articles/article.aspx?p=688534&seqNum=4

In the instructions where it says "the arrow below the library tab", just click the "Organize" button. The rest follows pretty closely.

Here is a digest:

  1. click "Organize", then "Options"
  2. On the library tab be sure to check "Rename music files using rip music settings" and "Rearrange music in rip music folder, using rip music settings". These settings will allow windows media player to organize the music in the folder you select on the "Rip Music" tab, so make sure this is the parent folder of all your music.
  3. Click "Apply" and "OK"
  4. click "Organize", then click "Apply media information changes".

Your library will be updated and all songs that you had added to the library that we not located in your music folder (the one specified in the "Rip Music" tab) will be moved, renamed, etc.

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After continuing to play with WMP for 2 hours, I decided to just go back to iTunes. It's much easier to use to manage my library, plus I found that Windows Media Player destroyed some of my albums - I had "best of" and "greatest hits" albums that were scattered to other albums just because some of the songs were the same. This kind of thing is a no-go for me. I'm going to try to clean up what I can, but it looks like iTunes is the way to go for an integrated media player and manager.

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Windows Media Player doesn't manage your library itself, per se. Since it lives in Windows 7, which has its own Library management features, it just uses Windows' library information. So, first make sure that your music is all in a folder that is included in Windows' Music library.

If your library is not generating properly, even though the files are there and tagged a certain way, you may need to force Windows to regenerate its media database.

To do this, open up the Services control panel and stop the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service. Then, go to %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Media Player in Windows Explorer and delete all the *.wmdb files that you see, there. Restart the service, and then open your Music library and wait a few minutes as it rescans all your folders and files.

You shouldn't have to do this very often, but now and then, if things get messed up, it's a good thing to know how to do.

It's also good to have a batch MP3 tagger program handy. You might set the Album and Artist fields properly, but then there's fields like "Album Artist" and the like, which might cause albums to break up or get scattered everywhere. When you retag, make sure that all files are tagged to match each other so that Windows doesn't get confused about what goes where.

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maybe this article will help to get answers to "Why iTunes forget things you made ..." an how can i export my media from iTunes.

Good luck.

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I don't have any media in iTunes. I uninstalled iTunes and removed the iTunes directories and playlists. I want to move everything into Windows Media Player, but I'm having trouble every time I turn around, from it not remembering to load My Music into my library to it not renaming songs that are mislabeled. –  Thomas Owens Aug 5 '10 at 23:38
    
@ThomasOwens: Well, the article at least explains why things might not look the same in WMP as it did in iTunes. My experience with iTunes is that it only works if go 100% for iTunes/iPod/iPad/iPhone. If you plan to use your music with any product that is not Apple, your'e doomed. –  awe Mar 5 '12 at 8:48
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